The Ultimate Guide to Fighting Google Business Profile Spam

The Ultimate Guide to Fighting Google Business Profile Spam

Unless you’re brand new to the World Wide Web, you know that spam in any form is not a welcome sight. Whether it’s bothersome emails in your inbox, pop-ups urging you to “Click Here!”, or supposedly free offers riddled with hidden ways to take your money, spam seems to always be there, like an unavoidable pest you can’t quite get rid of.

Now, most spam is easy enough to ignore. Just say good-bye, click the little “x” button, and move on with your day.

Unfortunately though, when it comes to Google Business Profile (GBP) listings, spam is more than a simple annoyance you can simply disregard. GBP spam affects a company’s ability to attract new business by hurting its rankings, confusing potential customers, and ruining its credibility. In the end, the reputation and overall success of the business can be greatly affected – and not for the better.

And GBP spam is no good for the user, either. There’s nothing more frustrating than entering a search into Google only to be given a page of hard-to-navigate results. Users want quick answers to their inquiries and having to sift through misleading spam isn’t ideal for anyone.

The big takeaway here? When it comes to GBP listings, ignoring spam simply isn’t an option.

The good news is there are ways to fight back.

Different Types of GBP Spam: Spotting It & Fighting It

1. Keyword Stuffing:

This one’s pretty self-explanatory (and easy to spot). Like the name says, the listing will be stuffed with popular keywords, all of which are trying to grab Google’s attention. Fortunately, this type of spam is less frequent than it used to be, but it’s still there, and it’s one you can easily identify and edit.

How can I spot it?

  • Check for listings with really long names that don’t seem to make sense.
  • See a listing packed full of commas, hyphens, periods, and the like? That’s definitely a red flag.
  • Look to see if popular keywords, as well as business info (like a phone number), are scattered throughout it.
  • Pop on their website (if they have one). If the name on the Google listing doesn’t match the one on their website, there’s an issue.

An example of keyword stuffing: TC Construction – Masonry Construction in South Plainfield NJ, Masonry Companies, Masonry Workers, Masonry Contractor.

How can I fight it?

  • Scroll down on the listing until you see the “Submit an edit” button.
  • Choose “Edit name or other details.”
  • Edit the name right then and there!

Note: Once your edit is submitted, it will still need to be reviewed, so don’t expect the change to be published immediately. Wait a few days, then check to see if the edit went through.

2. Duplicates

Are you seeing multiple listings for the same business all within the same greater metropolitan area? This is an example of duplicate listings. You’ll see a bunch of ones with the same business type, the same name, and the same website.

How can I spot it?

  • Do a search for a service in your area. If you see multiple listings with the same name (or very similar names), chances are they’re duplicates.
  • Look at the websites among the duplicates. If it’s the same on all of them, you’re seeing duplicate postings.
  • See if there are listings with the same name, but different cities/suburbs added to the end.

Note: This is only spam if the location listed has no staffing/customers/etc. If people can actually go and do business there during the hours posted, then the listing is legitimate!

Examples of duplicate postings: Eagle Brothers Roofing, Eagle Brothers Roofing Nashville, Eagle Brothers Roofing of Bellevue

How can I fight it?

  • Scroll down on the listing until you see the “Submit an edit” button.
  • Choose “Close or remove.”
  • From the list of options, choose “Duplicate of another place.”
  • If it offers suggestions for what the posting might be a duplicate of, your best option is to simply choose “None of these” and submit the edit.

3. Address Spam

Address spam is when a business uses an address they do not own to get listed on Google Maps (or to get a listing that’s closer to their target client base). It’s common to see co-working spaces with multiple businesses used for these. Companies have also been known to use chain restaurants, UPS stores, gas stations, and more to get where they want to be on the map.

How can I spot it?

  • If you see listings that are showing up in the city’s center, odds are this is address spam and not a true location.
  • Take a closer look by going to the street view. See any signs, buildings, trucks, or other indicators that the company is actually located there? If not, it’s spam.

How can I fight it?

  • Scroll down on the listing until you see the “Submit an edit” button.
  • Choose “Close or remove.”
  • From the list of options, choose “Doesn’t exist here.”

4. Spam Bombs

As with keyword stuffing, these are fortunately becoming far less common in the spam-fighting world. That said, they still do pop up on occasion, so it’s good to be aware. A spam bomb is when 10, 20, or even 30 listings “magically” appear overnight in one location. They’ll all have similar names, and will have few, if any, reviews.

How can I spot it?

  • A whole lot of new listings seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and seemingly all at once.
  • Check Google Maps – if there are lots of similar listings all right next to each (i.e. all within a few block radius), then your alarm bells should be ringing.

How can I fight it?

  • Scroll down on the listing until you see the “Submit an edit” button.
  • Choose “Close or remove.”
  • From the list of options, choose “Doesn’t exist here.”

Note: If you have a dozen or more listings you’re fighting here, making a spreadsheet to track your submitted edits can be very useful. It makes the process less confusing and ensures you don’t miss a listing by accident.

5. Review Spam

There are a few different ways review spam comes into play. A company could leave fake negative reviews on their competitor’s listing, a company could pay someone to give fake positive reviews to boost credibility, or an outside company could be selling reviews to various businesses.

How can I spot it?

  • If you’re suspicious of a negative review, check to see if the potential customer exists in your system or anywhere in your records. If you have no recollection or paper trail of serving them, it’s likely spam.
  • Check their profile. If it was created the same day the review was left, that’s definitely a red flag. Also, see if their names or profile pictures are fishy. For example, a normal name paired with a picture of Brad Pitt probably isn’t legitimate.
  • Check the reviewer’s other reviews. If you see that this one profile has left only 1-star reviews, or a lot of 1-star reviews in a short period of time, then you’ve likely got a troll on your hands. On the other hand, if you see a profile that has only left 5-star reviews, and a lot of them in a short amount of time all across the country, that’s definitely fishy!
  • Check for orphan reviews. Some negative reviews just have the 1-star rating, but no comment to go along with it. These are often fake.

How do I fight it?

Now when it comes to fighting review spam, how you fight it depends on which website you’re fighting on – Google, Yelp, or Facebook? We’ll break down how to tackle each one.

How do I fight Google review spam?

  • Next to the review you should spot 3 vertical dots.
  • Click on the dots, then choose “Report review.”
  • When prompted, choose the most appropriate response for your report. (Unfortunately, “This is a fake review” isn’t currently an option. Most of the time “This review is not relevant to this place” is going to be the most appropriate for your needs.)
  • Once submitted, you’ll be brought to a screen that thanks you and indicates you may be contacted if any follow up information is needed. In this case, you’ll be contacted through the email listed on the account you submitted the report through.
  • Step By Step: How to report a fake Google review from your desktop or laptop computer
    • Sign in your Google Business Profile account
    • Look for the location of your business
    • Click on Reviews from the left bar
    • Choose the review you want to report and click on the three-button icon
    • Select “Flag as inappropriate”
  • Step By Step: How to report a fake Google review from your phone
    • Start from your “My Business App”
    • Find the “Customers” tab and then choose reviews
    • Look for the review you want to flag and then tap on the three-button
    • icon
    • Choose “Flag review”

How do I fight Yelp review spam?

  • Log in to your Yelp business profile. (If you haven’t claimed your Yelp account yet, you will need to do this first.)
  • Find the fake review. Next to it you should see 3 vertical dots.
  • Click on the dots, then choose “Report review.”
  • They’ll give you a form to fill out. Enter all the fields with as much detail as possible, as the review is only likely to be removed if it actually violates their guidelines. Enter as much evidence as possible to prove the reviewer wasn’t an actual customer of yours.
    • Are they not in your records?
    • Are they a disgruntled employee (show proof of past employment)?
    • Did that profile leave a lot of the same type of review for different businesses in a short amount of time?
  • Submit the form, and hope for the best! Turnaround time is approximately one week, and you’ll be contacted whether or not the review was removed.

How do I fight Facebook review spam?

Note: Facebook reviews are now referred to as “recommendations.” If this is all you’re seeing, these are your reviews!

  • Find the fake recommendation/review. Next to it you should see 3 vertical dots.
  • Click on the dots, then choose “Find Support or Report Recommendation.”
  • Pick the option most relevant to your situation. In most cases, “Spam or Not Relevant” will be the most appropriate response.


Next Steps…

Ok. So, you’ve spotted that GBP spam and done what you can to fight it! …now what?

First things first, give your edits 2-3 days to get reviewed. These (hopeful) fixes won’t be instant, so put them back on your to-do list for a few days from now, and direct your focus elsewhere.

If you check back after those days are up and the problem has been corrected, then great! You’re done. Give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself for another successful day of fighting those wayward spammers.

If your edits have NOT been addressed, the next step is to submit a Business Redressal Complaint Form to Google. This form does not currently work for submitting review spam, but it does work for all other forms of spam we’ve listed so far. To see the next steps for fighting review spam, skip ahead to the GBP community forum section below!

Tips for Filling Out a Business Redressal Form

A Business Redressal Form needs to be filled out just right in order to be taken seriously (or even looked at in the first place), so follow these tips to ensure you get the assistance you’re seeking:

  • Fill out the form in its entirety (no missing fields), otherwise it won’t even be looked at.
  • You can use your own name and email address, oran alias, as long as it’s associated with an email you have access to.
  • When asked for the name of the entity or organization that is getting impacted, you can put your business listing name here, if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, you can put “Multiple.”
  • When asked for the content that is malicious, it’ll depend on the type of spam you are fighting. If you’re combating keyword stuffing, choose “Title.” If it’s duplicates or a fake address you’re tackling, select “Address.”
  • At the bottom there will be a paragraph section where you can plead your case. Be specific here! Explain exactly how Google’s guidelines are violated and how it’s negatively impacting other businesses (as well as the search experience for the user). Note: Quoting Google’s guidelines can be very useful here!
  • Be impartial. If you’re feeling frustrated and fed up with spam, it’s very easy to get personal and expressive. In the end, Google doesn’t want to know how you feel or how a situation is unfair to you and your business. They simply want to know how their rules are being broken. Again, quoting their guidelines back to them, then explaining how exactly they are being violated can be really effective.
  • Take your time! Make sure everything is filled in and all of the information is as accurate as possible. Double check your submission before clicking that “Submit” button just to ensure nothing was overlooked or inputted incorrectly.
  • One last important tip – we recommend including the following phrase (or a version of it) in every single redressal form you submit:

“The listings mentioned above violate Google’s guidelines and should be removed from Google Maps. These listings are pushing legitimate listings down out of the search results and are denying work to legitimate businesses that rely on Google for business. These multiple fake listings make it harder for consumers to find legitimate business and are eroding the trust that consumers have in Google.”

Once your redressal form is submitted, give it about 2-3 weeks to be reviewed and addressed. If nothing changes after this time, try submitting it again, but be sure to look it over and see what you could modify or expand on. Is there anything you could rephrase differently? Is there another guideline you could point out?

Using the GBP Community Forum

If another 2-3 weeks go by without any action completed, the final step you can take is to bring your case to the GBP community forum. Submit a question with all of the information you presented to Google in the redressal, along with the redressal case ID (this should be in the email they sent you). There are Google product experts in the forums that can help escalate your case.

Note: If you take this approach, it’s highly recommended you use an alias or email that isn’t associated with any of your personal information, especially if you are going after review spam.

So… Is it Really Worth It?

We get it. GBP spam fighting is a lot of work and requires keeping a vigilant eye, requesting edits, and possibly even submitting redressals (which don’t always go through). So here’s the big question – is it even worth the fight? Especially when you might put in all that time only to be ignored?

While it’s true that spam fighting isn’t as effective as it once was, we say yes – it’s worth it. Because if the effort you put in pays off it could mean a higher ranking on Google’s first page.

In the end, fighting spam is one of the most effective ways to earn a coveted top spot in the local pack, and the impact that can have on your business is incomparable!

You’re Ready!

Alright – now that you’re armored with GBP spam-fighting knowledge, it’s time to get to work. Be on the lookout and be ready to act next time you see a suspicious listing. You’ll be a spam-fighting professional in no time!

5 Audiences Every Business Should Set Up When Boosting Posts or Running Ads on Facebook

5 Audiences Every Business Should Set Up When Boosting Posts or Running Ads on Facebook

If you’re boosting posts or running Facebook ads, getting your audience right is *key*. Targeting too narrowly, getting geography wrong, or creating the wrong audiences can increase your costs and lead to ineffective results. 

But not to worry, because today, we’re filling you in on the five audiences you should create before you get started and how to set them up in Facebook Business Manager.

The first thing you’ll need to do is log into your Facebook Business Manager. Once you’re in there, the easiest way to set up an audience is to click the “Audiences” category on the top left-hand side.


Note: If you don’t see it here, scroll down and you should find “Audiences” under the “Advertise” section of the page.

From there, you’ll click the “Create Audience” dropdown and select the type of audience you want to create. The three “types” of Facebook audiences we’re going to be worrying about today are saved, custom, and lookalike. 


A saved audience is an audience that’s created based on information you have or own. You’ll need to manually input this information in order to create this type of audience. 

A custom audience is created based on an action or engagement. For example, a custom audience might consist of people who downloaded a lead gen, clicked an ad, visited your website, engaged with a Facebook post, submitted a form, or took some other type of action.

A lookalike audience is an audience that’s created based on the demographics of your existing customer base. It requires input of information — like the names, email addresses, addresses, and zip codes of your customer base — and Facebook uses that info to find your customers’ Facebook profiles and create an audience that “looks” similar to them.

Note: In order to create custom audiences, you MUST have the Facebook Pixel installed on your site. Otherwise, these audiences won’t work for you. 

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the five audiences you need to create before boosting posts or running Facebook Ads. 

#1 Geographic & demographic audience 

This first audience is a “saved” audience that will target people in a specific area. You’ll need to manually input some information to create this audience. 

What information do you need to add? The zip codes, cities, or counties you’d like to target and the age range you’d like to target. 

You may be tempted to narrow down your audience further with more filters, but Facebook likes to work with broader audiences, so we recommend stopping with location and age. 


If you know that your buyers are predominantly male or female, you can choose to target a specific gender, but we recommend just inputting the location and age range of your ideal customers. 

Keep in mind, Facebook knows that, as a home service business, you want to target homeowners over apartment owners. So you don’t need to add that type of information. In fact, if you choose to continue narrowing down your audience, you could actually hurt your efforts and increase your costs.

#2 Website retargeting audience

The second type of audience you’ll want to create is a custom audience that will consist of people who have visited your website within a certain time period. To create this custom audience, you’ll need to click “website” in the custom audience dashboard.


We recommend targeting website traffic using a 30-day window. 45 days is way too long to keep someone in your funnel, and while 15 days is ideal because you’re retargeting them closer to the actual website visit, most websites aren’t going to have enough traffic for a 15-day retargeting audience. So for most home service businesses, it makes sense to set the custom audience to include people who visited your website in the last 30 days.


#3 Video views retargeting audience

Next, we’re going to create an audience that consists of people who have engaged with our videos on Facebook. This is also a custom audience, so you’ll need to click on “Create Audience,” “Custom Audience,” and then “Video.”


Select any of the recent videos you’ve posted on your Facebook page, and choose to target people who have watched 3-seconds, 10-seconds, or 95% of the video/videos. 


If you have a really strong video watch rate, we would recommend 10-seconds, but if you just want to get people to engage with you again, selecting 3-seconds is fine. 

#4 Customer list lookalike audience

If you have a customer list, you can actually upload it to Facebook to create a custom audience that consists of similar people. 

Before you upload your list, make sure it includes your customers’ names, zip codes, emails, and phone numbers. The reason your list needs to have all of these things before you upload it is that Facebook needs this information in order to match up your customers with their Facebook accounts. From this information, Facebook will then create a lookalike audience – an audience that looks like your existing customers. 

You’ll have the choice of choosing from 1-10% in terms of how closely you want your new audience to match your customer list, but we recommend going with 2-3%.


Super important note on lookalike audiences: Make sure you select the location targeting for your lookalike audience, specifying state, county, or zip code. Otherwise, your lookalike audience will default to cover the entire U.S., and you’ll be paying to put ads or boosted posts in front of people who will never *actually* do business with you.  

#5 Facebook page engagement audience

The final audience you’ll want to set up before you get started is also a custom audience. This audience will consist of people who have engaged with your Facebook page. Once again, you’ll click on “Create Audience” and then Custom Audience,” but this time you’ll select “Facebook Page.”


Next, use the dropdown menu to select “People who engaged with any post or ad.”


Then Facebook will target anyone who has engaged with your posts or ads in the last 30 days, but hasn’t visited your landing page or taken an action.

Time to Get Things Going!

Alright, now that you know who to target and how to target them, it’s time to create your audiences so you can build your ads, boost your posts, and put Facebook to work for your business. 

Best of luck to you! 

Why You Should Be Using Google’s Local Services Ads

Why You Should Be Using Google’s Local Services Ads

Have you noticed a new type of badge showing up in Google search results? Hi, I’m Christian and with Spark Marketer, and today I want to talk to you about why you should be using Google’s local service ads.

So first up, what are local service ads? Google’s local service ads are a new type of advertising platform that is pay-per-lead, and that Google has been introducing since about 2017. It’s important to note that Google’s local service ads aren’t available for all cities and all industries. We’ll include a link in this video that you can use to see if your business is eligible to get started.

Google’s local service ads are pay-per-lead, not pay-per-click like in Google Ads. You don’t get to choose what keywords to target. You don’t write ads or select landing pages for users to land on. Instead, you select categories and job types that you offer. Google decides what keywords to match with your category or your offerings to show to customers. This makes local service ads a great choice if your business and city are eligible. Local service ads appear above Google ads. So if you’ve already seen local service ads, you may have noticed that they appeared not only above Google Ads, but the Google map local pack and organic results.

Since local service ads and Google Ads are completely separate from one another, that means if you’re on both platforms, your business may actually show up for local service ads, Google Ads, and then of course, if you’re showing up on maps and organic, then those are essentially four spots that your business can show up for relevant keywords to your business.

And finally, there’s no cost to sign up. Similar to Google Ads, there’s no cost to actually sign up for the platform. You just end up paying for, in this case, the leads that you get. You can start and stop local service ads at any time you’d like, and just like Google Ads, you’re only paying for the leads that you’re receiving.

However, even though there’s no cost to sign up, there is a bit of an onboarding process that each business has to take. As part of the onboarding process, each business must submit license and insurance proof and any person, whether it be technician or other staff member that will visit a customer’s home will need to be background checked, and this is done through Google’s partner, the Pinkerton Company.

So hopefully those are enough reasons for you to start using local service ads, if you are eligible. Again, those reasons are, it’s a cost-per-lead model, not cost-per-click. They appear above Google Ads results, and there’s no cost to sign up, but there is a little bit of an onboarding process.

If you have any questions on signing up or using local service ads, feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll see you in the next one.

Roofers: Here Are Two Ways You Should Be Using Facebook Ads for Your Business

Roofers: Here Are Two Ways You Should Be Using Facebook Ads for Your Business

Have you ever thought about making Facebook Ads a part of your marketing strategy, or do you think, “Hey, that might work for other industries, but it doesn’t make sense for roofing”?

Well, there are actually a couple of key ways Facebook Ads can complement your roofing company’s marketing strategy and sales efforts, making it easier for you to get leads and boost conversion rates. 

If you’re considering using Facebook Ads for your roofing business, here are two tips to get you started…

#1 Use Facebook Ads to Prep Customers in a Specific Area Before Canvassing 

While roofing falls into the home service category, it’s actually a very different industry than say plumbing, chimney, or HVAC in terms of how companies in the industry typically sell. Successful roofing companies typically send sales reps out to knock on doors and convert entire neighborhoods. And a lot of times, this door-to-door selling revolves around specific weather events.

For example, when a hailstorm or tornado hits a specific area, sales reps target that area. Which means that unlike chimney companies, plumbing companies, and other home service businesses, a roofer’s service area or focus sometimes shifts a bit. 

This weather-oriented, neighborhood-specific sales focus makes Facebook Ads a great marketing strategy for roofers — because you can actually use Facebook Ads to warm up specific zip codes or neighborhoods for your sales reps. 

With Facebook, you can target a specific housing complex or gated community that’s a potentially high-dollar area, and you can target whole zip codes and service areas as well. You can even get as specific as targeting a one-mile radius around a specific house. Simply put in a previous customer’s address or an address from Zillow and target the 1-2 mile area around that. 

Here’s why hyper-targeting with Facebook Ads is such a win for roofing companies…

By showing your ads to a specific area prior to sending your sales reps out, you’re actually setting your sales reps up for success when they go door to door. Because your ads will have done a little work up front, when your sales reps canvas a neighborhood, the homeowners they’re talking to will already know about the company and its reputation.

So, what type of campaign should you run when you’re using Facebook Ads for this purpose? 

In this instance, we recommend running a video views campaign using a video that educates homeowners on how to recognize hail damage or other storm damage, or what goes into a roofing inspection. What do you want to do with these ads?

  1. Make people aware that their roof may have been damaged by the recent storm or weather event.
  2. Let homeowners know you’re going to be in the neighborhood and that you’re happy to do a roof inspection to check for damage.
  3. Build trust by letting them know who they’re going to be talking to, educating them on your company, and providing social proof that you do the quality work you say you do through reviews and testimonials from happy customers. 

So in this case, you’re not using Facebook Ads to generate leads, but to prep the customers in the area to be more accepting of sales technicians and more likely to convert at the door. 

#2 Use Facebook Ads to Generate Leads With a Free Roof Inspection

While Facebook Ads don’t have to be used to generate leads, they absolutely can be used for that purpose. Because of the targeting capabilities of Facebook Ads, you can easily use the platform to achieve your objective of getting more customers or potential customers in a specific, high-dollar or high-need area. 

Ads can get your brand out in front of people in a targeted area and make them aware that their roof may have been damaged by recent weather events. The offer of the ad? A free roof inspection.

By running a Facebook Ads lead gen campaign in this instance, you can collect the info of homeowners (in a target area) who are interested in having their roof inspected. Which means you can follow up with them. Voila: leads generated.

Could Facebook Ads Make the Job of Selling Easier for Your Sales Reps?

I think almost everyone would agree: selling is hard — especially when you’re selling a high ticket item or service like a new roof. With big ticket items comes longer sales cycles (typically). Who couldn’t use a little help? 

So before you write off Facebook Ads as good for every industry but yours, consider how you sell and how Facebook Ads can be used strategically to your benefit. You just may find that Facebook Ads do a lot of the heavy lifting up front so that when your sales reps show up, a lot of the selling is already done for them. 

4 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Results Can Look Different For Home Service Businesses

4 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Results Can Look Different For Home Service Businesses

Adding Facebook Ads to your marketing strategy can be a great way to grow your business, increase brand awareness, and engage with potential and existing customers. But one thing that can make business owners uneasy is how different results can be.

One industry — say ecommerce, for example —could see really high conversion rates and easily identify return on ad spend (ROAS), while another industry — say home services — could see lower numbers and have a challenging time figuring out ROAS.

What’s going on here? Do Facebook Ads just not work as well for some industries as they do for others?

If you’re running Facebook Ads for your home services business and you’re wondering why your results always look different from the results you’re hearing about from business owners in other industries, you’re not alone.

Facebook Ads are definitely worth it for home service businesses — but there are four reasons why your Facebook Ads results will always look different from industries like retail and ecommerce…

#1 Selling a Home Service Business Just Takes Longer

Think about it: the sales cycle for a home services business is not the same as the sales cycle for an ecommerce business or a retail shop. You don’t have to have a relationship with a brand to click the “buy now” button for a pair of shoes you’re drooling over. You just have to know how and where to buy.

So think about that in terms of Facebook Ads….a retail or ecommerce store may only have to get an ad in front of a potential customer one time before that potential customer becomes a paying customer. As a result, it can *seem* like Facebook Ads are really cheap for ecommerce and retail businesses.

It’s easy for customers to open up their wallets for low ticket items, but home service businesses are not typically selling low ticket items.You’re not typically selling products that provide immediate gratification or any of the other tangible pleasures that retail provides.

Buyers typically want to know more than just how and where to hire you before they make the jump from potential customer to paying customer. They want to have a relationship with the brand first, because…

#2 Hiring the Wrong Home Service Business Carries More Risk

It doesn’t take much convincing to get a potential customer to click the “buy now” button for a pair of shoes they can’t wait to slip their feet into — especially when there are things in place to reduce risk, like fast shipping and easy returns. Even if they haven’t purchased from the brand before, risk is minimal. They can always get their money back and life will be no worse than it was before they bought the shoes.

But as a home services business, you’re selling something less tactile and far riskier — a service.

When you hire a plumber you’ve never worked with before to come into your home and install a costly new tankless water heater, there’s a lot that could go wrong if you hire the wrong company.

The plumber could show up late, or not at all. They could damage the water heater or install it wrong. They could leave you with a massive bill that far exceeds the number you were quoted at the start. They could stop in the middle of the job and leave your home a total mess.

In other words, there are a lot of what ifs that you have to contend with when you hire someone to perform a service, that you don’t have with the shoe purchase. And that’s true for your customers, too.

They’re what if-ing their little hearts out, and they want to minimize risk as much as possible.

They want to know they’re going to be charged a fair price, that the work will be done right, and that their property will be taken care of. They want to know that the contractor will be clean, professional, and trustworthy. After all, they’re going to be in their home around their pets and kids.

And here’s another reason hiring the wrong home services company feels riskier than making an ecommerce purchase: Chances are, the work being done is out of the homeowner’s area of expertise.

They can look at a pair of shoes and judge their quality, but they wonder: Will I able to tell if a plumber does the job wrong, cuts corners, or tells me I need something I don’t?

This increased risk and lack of confidence is exactly why people will ask their friends and family for contractor referrals, but aren’t likely to ask where their friends or family buy their shoes. It’s why people check reviews before they pick up the phone.

The truth is: when we make a purchase — especially a high ticket purchase — we all want to know we’re making the right choice and that it’s going to be okay. And when it comes to a purchase that could affect the value, comfort, and integrity of our homes, we want to be extra sure.

For that reason, more ads are typically needed for a home services business to see a conversion on Facebook.

You have to get your name and business out in front of a potential customer multiple times to build trust and authority with your audience. They have to become familiar with your brand — because familiarity minimizes risk and increases confidence.

So, it’s not that you’re paying more for Facebook Ads as a home service business — it’s that you will likely need to run more ads over more time to turn a prospect into a paying customer.

#3 Home Services Are Not an Impulse Buy

One of my closets is filled with shoes, bags, and jewelry. That’s it. Do I really need another pair of black boots or another bag? Absolutely not. But will I justify spending money on both if I see an ad that catches my eye? Of course.

I don’t care who you are, getting new things that you absolutely love feels good. Spending thousands of dollars on a new plumbing fixture install for your home does not.

It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the benefits of the plumbing fixture — it just means the urgency, cost, and benefits are perceived differently than they are with an ecommerce product.

The service you provide is not something your customers expect to squeal with delight over. And it’s definitely not an impulse buy. So ad conversion requires more context and more frequency.

Let me explain…

If I see a new bag I love on sale for under $100, I’ll start doing the math. I’ll think, Well, I recently stopped drinking, so I’m saving X amount of money on wine each week, which adds up to $100 in X amount of time.

What’s that mental calculation come out to? I deserve that new bag and I should get it.

All the ecommerce company has to do is show me an ad once, maybe twice — then they’re done selling. I do the rest of the selling in my head.

As a home service business, you’ve got to work a lot harder and so do your ads. You have to convince them that they need your services as urgently as they need that thing they really, really want — the thing saved in their Amazon wish list.

You’ve got to convince them that you’re the right company for the job, and that risk is so low and the experience so stress-free that they have no reason to defer the decision to a later time.

You’ve got to convince them that the gain is greater than the loss — that they’ll be glad they called. And it’s not going to take one ad — it’s typically going to take many.

#4 ROAS Isn’t as Straightforward for Home Services Businesses

For an ecommerce business, ROAS can be easily calculated if the Facebook pixel is set up properly, because the pixel will trace the user’s ad view or click through to the point of purchase. When your sale happens on the website and you have a purchase event that is triggered, tracking is super simple.

But for service businesses, the return is a little harder to see — not because you’re not seeing a return, but because the end goal (a purchase) doesn’t typically happen on your website.

You’re asking the person who sees your ad to take the next step in the sales process, which is typically to visit your website or give you a call. But there’s no product to buy online, no purchase event to trigger, so that’s the end of easy ROAS tracking.

To figure out the ROAS of your Facebook Ads, you’ll have to:

  1. Look at attribution — If your customers have Facebook IDs and your Facebook pixel is set up properly, you should be able to tell if a customer saw one of your ads at any point in the customer journey. Attribution reveals what online and offline actions can be attributed to your ads, so you know if your ads are effectively getting people to take specific actions and become paying customers.
  2. Look at your call tracking — While call tracking won’t give you a complete or 100% accurate picture, it’s a key tool for evaluating the effectiveness of Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Just remember, you probably won’t see the same high numbers with Facebook that you might see with Google, because Facebook Ads are more focused on nurturing and getting customers earlier in the buying stage — not on those hot leads who need your services ASAP. But you should see calls coming from your Facebook Ads! Also, keep in mind that someone may have seen your ad on Facebook, but ended up researching and clicking to call on Google. It may look like the lead came from Google, when in reality, the ad played a pivotal role in getting the call.
  3. Look at this year vs. last year — Another great way to tell if your Facebook Ads are working is to compare the number of calls and booked jobs you’re getting this year vs. last year (assuming you weren’t running Facebook Ads last year). You should see an increase in calls and booked jobs if you’re using Facebook Ads, so if you don’t, there’s a problem. But when considering the numbers, take into account any and all marketing changes that you made in that time frame.
  4. Ask your customers —It also never hurts to ask your customers what made them call you. Ask if they remember seeing any ads on Facebook. It’s simple, but it can help you track ROAS!

Hopefully this blog post has been informative and cleared up some of the confusion you may have had around Facebook and ROAS for service businesses.